druidh - yuou make very good points.
In my head I hardly do any riding, and am extraordinarily unfit. To others I do "all that biking" and still get "are you really cycling to work all winter?" quite often from work colleagues.
So, I agree, it's about a gradual change to lifestyle, rather than buying a shedload of new equipment and starting on a new and imposing regime. this is the reason why gyms have a glut of new members in January who from the end of the month never return.
It's about gradual lifestyle change - the point about altering one's mindset is crucial. This takes time, and that's all he needs to do. However, he needs to do this in the knowledge that he isn't going to lose 3.5 stone in a month or less, and that it takes time.